Does child care availability play a role in maternal employment and children’s development? Evidence from Italy
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- Brilli, Y., Del Boca, D. & Pronzato, C.D. Rev Econ Household (2016) 14: 27. doi:10.1007/s11150-013-9227-4
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This paper investigates the effects of public child care availability in Italy in mothers’ working status and children’s scholastic achievements. We use a newly available dataset containing individual standardized test scores of pupils attending the second grade of primary school in 2009–2010 in conjunction with data on public child care availability. Our estimates indicate a positive and significant effects of child care availability on both mothers’ working status and children’s Language test scores. We find that a percentage change in public child care coverage increases mothers’ probability to work by 1.3 percentage points and children’s Language test scores by 0.85 percent of one standard deviation; we do not find any effect on Math test scores. Moreover, the impact of a percentage change in public child care on mothers’ employment and children’s Language test scores is greater in provinces where child care availability is more limited.